THE POPULIST president Mexico elected last year got off to a rip-roaring start in December, his first month in office. He wasted no time in causing chaos. He’s known by his initials, AMLO.
Here’s what he did, if you can believe it. Mexico has a longstanding and, apparently increasing, problem with gasoline theft by organized gangs. Their favored modus operandi is to tap into a pipeline, preferably in the boonies, and siphon it into tanker trucks.
Mexico is a major oil producer and has lots of refineries.
AMLO’s solution to this problem is to stop sending gasoline via pipelines and to transport it instead in Pemex tanker trucks, often accompanied by armed patrols. The fly in this ointment is that you cannot send anywhere nearly as much gasoline by tanker trucks as you can by pipeline.
This has resulted in severe gasoline shortages in parts of the country. Alas, one of the heaviest hit parts is right here on my mountaintop.
Most of our gas stations are closed all day. The ones that occasionally have gasoline have lines up to a half-mile long. I drove by one yesterday afternoon just up the highway from the Hacienda.
Here is an apt analogy to AMLO’s solution to the pipeline thefts: Say you want to halt bank robberies. The obvious remedy is to remove money from banks, right? Unfortunately, while bank robbers won’t have access to money in the banks, neither will customers.
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The AMLO sandwich?
Until this situation gets resolved, we’re not wasting gasoline on our habitual weekly drives to the nearby capital city to high-brow shop at Costco and Superama.
We’re sticking close to home. The Honda still has nearly three-quarters of a tank of petrol because I filled up Dec. 31 and have driven little since.
Costco is where I’ve purchased hydroponic lettuce for our nightly salads for years. I used the final lettuce Thursday night. Since no supermarket where I live stocks hydroponic lettuce, I planned to switch to egg sandwiches.
I was planning on calling them AMLO sandwiches. It would have been a painful transition in spite of the fact that I like egg sandwiches. We are critters of habit.
But yesterday I decided to check the lettuce in our mountaintop supermarket. No hydroponic, of course. The store’s nod to highbrow is some sort of Italian greenery, so I bought four questionable bunches, brought them home and disinfected them.
No need to disinfect Costco’s hydroponic lettuce. It’s fast and easy.
We have bagels for only three mornings more, and the croissants are all gone. We’re just six weeks into AMLO’s six-year term.
This could get mighty ugly.
We are the bourgeoisie, so I guess we had it coming.
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(Here’s a Washington Post story on our gasoline crisis.)